Sanders To Provide Funds For Zoning Study Of 31st District

City Councilman James Sanders announced in a press conference last Friday that he will provide up to $100,000 for the rezoning of the entire 31st Council District.

The announcement was made in Laurelton with representatives from various civic groups present. The councilman also said that he has retained Paul Graziano, an urban planning consultant, to execute a recommendations report of the district, which includes Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, Rosedale, the Rockaways and the Kennedy Airport area.

The study will not only relate to rezoning issues, but to historical landmarks, economic development and open-space issues.

Graziano will perform a block-to-block and house-to-house survey. He will be working closely with the councilman, various civic associations and homeowners. Both Graziano and Sanders urged that the communities collaborate on this project. They said that various organizations should get involved as much as possible and report additional findings to them.

Graziano noted that going lot-to-lot and not looking at computer-generated images of the areas is the best way to tackle neighborhood studies. He will be in each neighborhood to see what is happening. Graziano will also be working with experts in historic resources and marine biology and will then present the findings in a report to Sanders.

The councilman said that he will spend whatever amount is needed to protect the community. “If that means going up to $100,000, then we’ll spend that much to protect our community.” He added that protecting the community is more important than any amount of money.

The funds are going to be used to determine the proper zoning needed for the areas.

The Concerned Citizens of Laurelton has almost completed its survey of the community. Members started working on the project several years ago because they wanted to protect and possibly rezone their area.

Kimberly Francis, president of the CCL is“delighted that Sanders has decided to retain Graziano because of his impressive history in rezoning matters in Queens.”

Rosedale will soon begin to carry out a study of its neighborhood. Graziano said it is important for the neighborhood associations to be out there and to encourage summer youth programs to get involved in collecting information on what they see in the community.

Graziano will also study streets that have certain “undesirable” businesses. He used Merrick Boulevard as an example with certain businesses that are not really needed in the neighborhoods. For example, he said, 99-cent stores and a laundromat on every block is not necessary. He will be talking to landlords and also developing a reports on what kinds of businesses should be there.